Oceanside Christmas Bird Count 2020

Summary  – Oceanside (CAOV) Christmas Bird Count – 2020

by Kirsten Winter

The 75th Oceanside Christmas Bird Count was held on December 26, 2020.  It was a clear and pleasant day, with light breezes. Temperatures ranged from approximately 35-40 degrees F in the morning to about 65 degrees F in the afternoon. A dedicated group of 80 birders logged 237 hours of birding and 455 miles of travel on foot, by car, by boat, and by golf cart. The teams recorded approximately 32,440 individual birds. The total number of individual birds counted was up by about 2,400, or 8% when compared with last year. That is impressive considering we had fewer birders this year, below-average rainfall, and we were not able to survey Camp Pendleton sectors due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many thanks to all of the team leaders and members for their outstanding efforts!

A total of 183 species was detected, which is about average for this count. The count record of 200 species was set some years ago. The most numerous birds were returning champs: American Crow at  2829, Yellow-rumped Warbler at 2649, American Coot at 1969, American Wigeon at 1349, House Finch at 1855, and White-crowned Sparrow at 1692 birds. Black-vented Shearwaters were also numerous at 2240 birds.

Many rarities were detected. Appearing for the very first time on the Oceanside count, a Verdin was seen by Tito Gonzales near Lake Calavera in Carlsbad. 


Verdin – photo by Tito Gonzales 

A Hammond’s Flycatcher was found for the first time on this count – by Gretchen Nell and team, at Priestly Road in Carlsbad.   A Tropical Kingbird (2nd time seen on the count) was found by Kathy Aldern and Maryanne Bache at Seascape and Melaleuca, near Batiquitos Lagoon.   An Ash-throated Flycatcher (8th time on count) was found by Gretchen Nell and team at an agricultural field along Cannon Road in Carlsbad.  

Common Goldeneye (11th time seen on count) was at two locations, Whelan Lake (John Haddock) and Guajome Lake (Ken Weaver).


Common Goldeneye –  photo by Ken Weaver

Hairy Woodpecker was seen for the 5th time on this count, by PJ Falatek and Beth Cobb at the old Bonsall golf course.